Patricia Calhoun's top 7 ways of improving Colorado tourism post mentions ex-guv Bill Ritter and a tourism official who suggested that Colorado is the "new Scotland" because of all the distilleries here. Said official responded in our comments section to defend this tag, but not the idea of 24-hour guzzling at casinos.
I think "light-headed" might a fairer description of the tourism official, than hard-hearted, but moving past that, here's why Denver will be the "new Scotland" in the culiniary world.
Denver is already recognized as one of the world's great beer cities. After all, we have the largest single brewery on the planet (Coors); the largest beer festival on the planet, certified by Guinness World Records, (the Great American Beer Festival, which is also the most prestigious American beer competition -- where, incidentally, Colorado won more medals than any other state); and Colorado makes more beer than any other state.
Now, we are about to take that a step farther with the growing revolution of distilleries in Colorado. Not familiar with them? Let Patricia Calhoun tell the story from a previous column, describing a distilled spirts tasting arranged for the Colorado Press Association: "And while press folk have the reputation of being hard drinkers, they weren't used to drinking the hard stuff made in this state. In fact, few knew that Colorado had any distilleries -- much less well over a dozen."
Actually, there are 16 now -- and growing. Just as the water flowing in sparkling rivers over the Scottish moors forms the basic classic ingredient in Scotch whiskey, the water tumbling down from the Rocky Mountains is what first attracted brewers to Colorado. Now that we have one of the best collections of brewers in the world, it's only natural that the state move into the sister area of distilling...something you will soon see the world calling Colorado the "New Caledonia of Distilling."
As for the other ideas, they're all great! That is, they'd be great for private businesses to pursue, not a tax-supported, non-profit trade association. But we would support and promote these businesses.
Except maybe drinking 24 hours a day at casinos. Within a stone's throw of the casinos, there's river rafting, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, exploring gold mining sites, horseback riding... do we really need to let people drink 24-7? Even if they are drinking wonderful Colorado distilled spirits, a break now and then might be a good idea.
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